Black Archive #34: BattlefieldBookmark and Share

Thursday, 15 August 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Black Archive - Battlefield (Credit: Obverse Books)The latest in the series looking in detail at the making of Doctor Who, Black Archive, has been published by Obverse Books

Edition #34 looks at the seventh Doctor story Battlefield and come from range editor, Philip Purser-Hallard.

Often seen as the black sheep of the final season of 20th century Doctor Who, Battlefield also happens to be one of Purser-Hallard's favourite Who stories, but he's not allowed that fondness to blind him the serial's faults - though fair to say he doesn't pan it either.

Battlefield (1989) sees a clash of mythologies, as the progressive, anti-racist, sporadically pacifist Doctor Who of the late 1980s takes on Britain’s authoritarian, chivalric national myth of King Arthur. With a script by Ben Aaronovitch, now a bestselling urban fantasy novelist but then only the writer of the previous year’s acclaimed Remembrance of the Daleks (1988), it forms with its predecessor a ‘philosophical pair’, replacing its 1960s setting with an imagined 1990s and showing a Doctor dealing with the repercussions of his future actions, rather than his past. Even as a script Battlefield falls short of complete success, yet it remains an emotionally literate, politically engaged and thematically complex piece. It finds areas of overlap between Andrew Cartmel’s radical conception of Doctor Who and Arthurian myth in the legend of a past golden age, represented by the return of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and UNIT, and in the identification of the Doctor – always presented by the series as a wizard, a prophet and a mentor – with Merlin. It interrogates the patriarchal attitudes of both the Arthurian myths and 1970s Doctor Who from a contemporary perspective, and questions the attitudes to war found in both.

It also does an exemplary job of worldbuilding, sketching in a convincing near future based on a handful of lines, and presents a complex, questionable, even sympathetic villain motivated by a value system alien to our own. Finally, it raises questions of predestination: through the other characters’ foreknowledge of the Doctor’s future; through the fate apparently decreed for Ancelyn and Bambera; and, perhaps, through the Brigadier’s survival of a story whose structure seems to demand that he should die.

Philip Purser-Hallard is the founding editor of the Black Archive range, the author of The Black Archive #4: Death in Heaven and co-author of The Black Archive #13: Human Nature / The Family of Blood.

He has published five novels, including a trilogy of near-future Arthurian urbanfantasy political thrillers, The Pendragon Protocol, The Locksley Exploit and Trojans, and a Sherlock Holmes novel, The Vanishing Man.

Link to Website




Doctor Who: Battle ScarsBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 31 July 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who: Battle Scars (Credit: Big Finish)A new Doctor Who Short Trips has just been released by Big Finish

Doctor Who: Short Trips – Battle Scars, by Selim Ulug, takes us back in history as the Ninth Doctor makes a voyage on the Titanic.

Nightmarish memories of the Boer War. Crippling debts. An unconscious stranger in the garden. Arthur Daniels is beset with problems. Little does he know that his proposed solution could be the biggest problem of them all: a voyage to America aboard the RMS Titanic.
Writer Selim Ulug, a previous winner of the Paul Spragg Memorial Short Trips Opportunity, told us more about this tale for the Ninth Doctor (set before he met Rose)
It's a thrill to have the opportunity to write for Big Finish again. In Battle Scars we learn what happens when the Daniels family of Southampton encounter the Doctor. They're booked to sail on the Titanic, but when you run into the Doctor, unexpected things are sure to happen.

In addition to answering the question of why the family stayed behind, I wanted to use this story to explore the impact of war on its participants. The Doctor, after all, was recently in the Time War. Other characters in the story fought in the second Boer War. They're all looking for ways to move forward.
Narrated by Nicholas Briggs, Doctor Who – Short Trips: Battle Scars is available now at just £2.99 on download (only) from Big Finish.





Coming next in the Short Trips range, #HarrySullivan gets trending!

This Fourth Doctor, Sarah Jane and, of course, Harry Sullivan story is narrated by Louise Jameson.
En route to answer the Brigadier’s summons, the TARDIS is dragged off course. The Doctor, Sarah Jane and Harry find themselves trapped on The Zephyr, a spaceship that is going at full speed and yet is unable to move. With fuel running dangerously low, their only hope lies on Alderasea, a nearby world exclusively for the famous and celebrated.

However, Alderasea has never heard of them and has no intention of letting them land.






Fourth Doctor on vinylBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 26 June 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Wave of Destruction (Credit: Big Finish)Following the sell-out success of Big Finish Productions limited edition Doctor Who stories on vinyl, the audio company is delighted to announce another exclusive release in conjunction with Sainsbury's.

Doctor Who: Wave of Destruction starring Tom Baker, Lalla Ward and John Leeson on Friday 19th July 2019. It will be released as a Limited Edition run of 1500 copies on ocean swirl vinyl – only available in the UK, in Sainsbury’s stores.

In this full-cast audio drama from 2016, the Vardans return to take on Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor. The Doctor had previously encountered the Vardans on Gallifrey, the Doctor’s home planet, in the 1978 television story, The Invasion of Time.

A modulated frequency wave cancellation signal isn’t something that the Doctor and Romana expect to detect in 1960s London. But then they don’t expect to find Professor Lanchester, the man who invented it, lying unconscious. Or MI5 investigating. With the help of MI5 Agent Miller; Lanchester’s daughter Jill; and his nephew – a pirate radio DJ called Mark; the Doctor, Romana and K-9 investigate. They soon discover that there is more at risk than they imagined, and an alien invasion is about to begin. Can the Doctor identify and defeat the aliens in time? Will Romana manage to find a recombinant transducer before it’s too late? And how will K-9 cope with his new job?
Tom Baker portrayed the Doctor on screen from 1974 until 1981 returning to star alongside Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt as the curator in the 50th anniversary TV special, The Day of the Doctor, in 2013.

John Leeson was first brought in as the voice of K-9 – the Fourth Doctor’s robot dog – for the 1977 TV story, The Invisible Enemy. After a short break John returned for season 18 of Doctor Who in 1980. He also reprised his role as K-9 in the pilot TV episode for K-9 and Company (1981 – a spin-off from Doctor Who) and voiced K-9 for the 20th anniversary TV episode of Doctor Who, The Five Doctors and the 2006 Doctor Who TV episode, School Reunion.

Lalla Ward made her debut as Romana in December 1979, and after almost three series she made her last appearance alongside John Leeson in January 1981.

Of this special vinyl release, Lalla Ward said:
Recording Wave of Destruction was an absolute delight and I’m very pleased that we’ve made it onto a record. Romana is used to running circles around the Doctor so she’ll be right at home on the turntable.
Wave of Destruction, written by Justin Richards, is the first story of the fifth series of The Fourth Doctor Adventures, produced by Big Finish Productions.




Lethbridge-Stewart: BloodlinesBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 18 June 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart: Home Fires Burn (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books has announced the seventh series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels, a five-book series with an overall title of Bloodlines.

The series launches in September with Home Fires Burn by Gareth Madgwick, which sees the return of real-life World War II hero, Eileen Younghusband. Set during the Second World War, the novel reunites Eileen and Professor Edward Travers. They are joined in this adventure by Matthew Lethbridge-Stewart, the Brigadier’s uncle, who first appeared in the Lineage anthology.

Home Fires Burn is released to tie-in with the 80th Anniversary of World War II. Shaun Russell, Head of Publishing at Candy Jar Books, explains a little of Eileen’s role in the war:
With eightieth anniversary of the start of the war, we felt that we really wanted to acknowledge the contribution the greatest generation made to all our lives. In 1941 Eileen signed the official secrets act, and wasn’t able to talk about her work in the top secret Filter Room. In 2017 she was featured in The Flaming Soldier and we’ve had so many requests to bring her back. So, here she is launching the new series of books, and this time round her contribution to this story will have major affect on Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart’s life.
Gareth Madgwick said:
I've really enjoyed writing this book. The Second World War is an era that has always fascinated me, including the bravery and steadfastness of those like Eileen Le Croissette (later Candy Jar author Eileen Younghusband). Setting it in the beautiful Peak District and also the nearby Sheffield steelworks gave me an opportunity to look into areas of the war effort that aren't always explored elsewhere, and the sacrifices made.

The second book in the sequence is The Shadow Man, written by popular author Sharon Bidwell, her second novel for the series. In The Shadow Man we unveil the Bloodlines connection a little bit more, and focus in on Anne Travers and Bill Bishop as they head to France to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Sharon said:
When asked to write a novel focusing on Anne and Bill, I welcomed the chance to explore their relationship a little more than the series has hereto allowed for. What better way to add to this universe, than working with a quintessential strong female, one known for speaking her mind, for her intelligence, for her independence, as well as being a mother, and a woman in love?

The third book in the sequence is An Ordinary Man by Andy Frankham-Allen. In this book, the Bloodlines sequence starts to come together as we explore an alternative timeline in which Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart never went into military service. Andy said:
This was originally planned as the opening book in the sequence, but we reshuffled to tie in the Eileen book with the World War II anniversary. As a result, this is a wonderful mid-season (as it were) cliffhanger book, that brings to the fore the hints of the mystery littered throughout the previous two titles. It’ll end on quite the cliffhanger, setting the stage for the next two titles due out early 2020.

Later books in the series are written by Chris Lynch and Baz Greenland, with a sixth tangentially connected title to follow by Robert Mammone. Details on these releases will be announced later in the year.


The series is available to order as either a three or six book bundle from the Candy Jar website; the series is also covered by those with a regular subscription. If you purchase Home Fires Burn you are also entitled to 10% off the following Eileen Younghusband titles: One Woman’s War, Men I Have Known & Eileen’s War (proof of purchase required).

Home Fires Burn: The War is in full swing for Professor Travers, Section Officer Le Croissette and the Fourth Operational Corps. But beneath the farms and factories of the Home Front, another conflict threatens to erupt.

The Shadow Man: A private laboratory. A secret experiment. A lethal mistake. Anne and Bill are about to stumble into one man's obsession, causing someone to pay a deadly price.

An Ordinary Man: Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart lives a simple but fulfilling life as a teacher in Liskeard Grammar School. Owain Vine, former student of Mr Lethbridge-Stewart, also lives an ordinary life. An only child, he is happily settled in his home village of Bledoe. But then strange things begin to happen in February 1969. He starts hearing voices, getting visions of a London covered in web! What connects these visions to his old school teacher? And just who is the strange old woman seen in Bledoe, who claims to know everything about Owain and Mr Lethbridge-Stewart?




Candy Jar Books: updateBookmark and Share

Monday, 20 May 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart: Short Story Collection 2 (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books has announced the winner of the Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Competition. The winning story, Gone Fishin’, is written by Megan Fizell from Maine, USA.

Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, says:
All the stories this year have been outstanding and we would like to thank all those that entered, but there can be only one winner. Megan has written a wonderful story that took us all by surprise. Her instinct for characterisation is refreshingly different. In particular, we liked the way she portrayed the burgeoning friendship of the Brig, Sally, Anne and Bill. We look forward to working with her in the future.

Andy Frankham-Allen, range editor of Lethbridge-Stewart says:
This year the level of entries was particularly high, both in number and quality. And, although these stories are not part of the Lethbridge-Stewart canon, the entrants didn’t let that stop them exploring their imaginations! Shaun and I split the entries in half; he picked five finalists and I picked four. Our two top picks then went to Keren Williams, so she could pick the winner of the two. I’m delighted that Keren picked Megan’s story, as it’s a touching little tale and it’s always nice to have another female voice brought to the Lethbridge-Stewart range. Which, of course, Megan will as part of her prize for winning the competition.

Megan Fizell says:
The inspiration for Gone Fishin’ came as much from Thoreau – 'simplify, simplify' – as it did from the desire to give some of the HAVOC crew a well-deserved break. I'm pleased the premise worked as well as it did.

The idea for the Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Competition came from the company’s commitment to shedding light on fresh writing talent. Since 2015 the Lethbridge-Stewart novels have championed previously unknown authors such as Tim Gambrell and Harry Draper, alongside famous writing names in the Doctor Who universe including John Peel, Nick Walters, Simon A Forward and David A McIntee. This new collection is available to order from the Candy Jar website and features eight featuring Lethbridge-Stewart at various stages in his life:
  • Day Trip by Alan Darlington
  • Marooned at Teatime by Ryan Fogarty
  • Give Me Five Minutes by Mike Warrick
  • The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by James Connarty
  • The Eye of the Beholder by Gary J Mack
  • Summertime Blue by Alexander Whittam
  • The Mystery of the Locked Room by Beau Waddell
  • Nightmare at Lavender Lawns by Bedwyr Gullidge
  • Gone Fishin' by Megan Fizell


Candy Jar is also releasing a special edition of their 2017 limited print run anthology, The HAVOC Files 3. This reprint will contain updated editions of previous stories, and two short stories available for the first time in print. Head of Publishing Shaun Russell explains:
With the success of The HAVOC Files 2: Special Edition earlier this year, it was a forgone conclusion that we’d do a special edition reprint of The HAVOC Files 3. As with the previous release, we decided to look at it as an opportunity to revise a few of the stories, fixing continuity errors and the like, as well as bringing to print two short stories only previously available digitally.

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen continues:
This time around we decided to replace The Lost Skin part two (available as part of the larger whole in The Lost Skin novella) with Steven Walton’s The Case of the Missing Fairy. This was originally released digitally for Christmas 2017. Steven is taking the opportunity to expand it somewhat for the print edition. Joining it will be another previous Christmas free story; this time A Funny Turn by Alyson Leeds. Alyson is a solid writer, who wrote last year’s highly popular Fear of the Web. A Funny Turn is set during the earlier days of Lethbridge-Stewart’s career, and sees him being targeted by the Great Intelligence in a rather unique way.

Lethbridge-Stewart: The HAVOC Files 3 Special Edition (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The HAVOC Files 3 Special Edition

Strange fungoid creatures in Hull, a deserted Scottish village at Hallowe’en, wishes coming true, and a special mission for Samson and Evans in Llanfairfach. Young Ali Lethbridge-Stewart and his friends investigate strange happenings in Pengriffen, and Professor Travers returns to Tibet, only to find he’s being followed by enemy agents.

Ten short stories, including two previously only available in digital format, published in print for the first time.

  • The Bledoe Cadets and the Bald Man of Pengriffen by Tim Gambrell
  • A Funny Turn by Alyson Leeds (previously in digital format)
  • The Last Duty by Christopher Bryant
  • Eve of the Fomorians by Robert Mammone
  • The Wishing Bazaar by Sharon Bidwell
  • The Feast of Evans by Simon A Forward
  • Home for Christmas by The Author Collective
  • Slouching Towards Det-Sen by Shaun Collins
  • The Case of the Missing Fairy by Steven Walton (previously in digital format)
  • Lucy Wilson by Sue Hampton
The book is available to order from the Candy Jar website.




Emissary of the Daleks - Cover RevealBookmark and Share

Monday, 13 May 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Emissary of the Daleks (Credit: Big Finish)Doctor Who News can exclusively reveal the cover of the upcoming Sixth Doctor release from Big Finish, Emissary of the Daleks

The story, starring Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant is by Andrew Smith, who wrote the TV Fourth Doctor story Full Circle.

Andrew Smith told us about the story.
I was delighted when John Ainsworth asked me to write a Dalek story for Colin and Nicola for the monthly range. It seemed like a natural successor to my last monthly range script, Hour of the Cybermen, which had Ol’ Sixie pitched against his other arch enemies from way back.

I was given a wide brief, any setting I liked, and I went for an off-Earth story which has its basis in a tactic of the Persian Empire. They would conquer a territory then put a plenipotentiary or emissary in place as its ruler. The population would be treated relatively well, on condition that there were no attempts at rebellion. If there were, the Persians would return and be totally merciless in not just quelling the rebellion but taking cruel revenge on the population. It was a very successful tactic in keeping conquered cities in line. So I envisaged a world taken over by the Daleks with one of these emissaries in charge. An emissary with the principle objective of ensuring there’s no dissent. Because if there is, the Dalek reprisal will be terrible. And what would the Doctor and Peri do, coming into this setup? Would the Doctor want - or be able - to quell his usual instinct to foment rebellion and overturn Dalek rule?

I’d written Daleks before, for the War Doctor range, and found them great fun to do. This was my first time telling a standalone Dalek story of this length, and again it was a treat. It’s just not possible to write ‘Exterminate!’ without smiling. Even more of a treat is writing for Colin. I’ve written four or five stories for him now, and I just love his Doctor and what he does with him in the studio. To get to write for him and Nicola again, my first Sixie and Peri adventure since The First Sontarans in 2012, was the icing on the writing cake.

The Daleks are iconic of course, and were a highlight of my Doctor Who viewing as a child. I particularly remember 9-year- old me’s excited anticipation of their return in Day of the Daleks after an absence of many years. That remains one of my top favourite Doctor Who stories. It’s also one that, like Emissary, features a representative of the Daleks, the Controller, running a totalitarian state in their name. Which provides a satisfying if tenuous link to my story, while also setting a precedent for the use of this tactic by the Daleks.
Emissary of the Daleks is due to be released in August. It can be ordered on the Big Finish Website.




Lethbridge-Stewart: On His Majesty's National ServiceBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 8 May 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart: The Laughing Gnome: OHMNS (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books have announced the final novel in their anniversary series of Lethbridge-Stewart books, The Laughing Gnome:

On His Majesty’s National Service picks up where book five left off, seeing the heroes go back in time to the 1950s and the Korean War:
As a young man Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart never wanted to follow in his illustrious family military history, he just wanted to be a math’s teacher. But then the Korean War broke out and he was called up for National Service. He soon met Spencer Pemberton – and his life was changed forever!
The book is written by David A McIntee and Lynette Nusbacher, with the cover by Steve Beckett, who has provided the covers for The Lucy Wilson Mysteries range. Beckett said:
I was thrilled to be invited to illustrate the cover for the Lethbridge-Stewart novel On His Majesty’s National Service. This allowed me to depart from my usual cartoony art style seen on the Lucy Wilson books and work in a style influenced by some of my childhood favourite comics, Battle picture weekly and Commando. I really enjoyed working on the piece which involved a little research into the Korean War and particularly the Hungarian army. I hope regular readers enjoy the explosive cover art and my rendition of a young moustache less Lethbridge-Stewart.

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen explained:
We knew we wanted a Commando-style cover, and it took us a while to remember we had an artist who has done some work featuring military characters over the years. Although Steve is primarily known for his Beano work (as evidenced by the style of the Lucy Wilson covers), he can turn his hand to many different styles. As usual, I consulted the author, asked him what he wanted, and we then sent these suggestions to Steve.

Author David A McIntee added:
I wanted both Lethbridge-Stewart and Hooper on the cover, as well as two Korean characters, with Lethbridge-Stewart and Hooper in Hungarian uniforms, just to further tease the audience and make them wonder why... And, I’m glad to say, the final result is pretty much exactly what I’d imagined. I’ve been lucky to have some great covers over the years, and this is easily right up there with them.

The Laughing Gnome: On His Majesty’s National Service is available for pre-order now from the Candy Jar website. It is also covered by the normal subscription and The Laughing Gnome six book bundle.




The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Bandril InvasionBookmark and Share

Monday, 6 May 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books has announced the latest in their The Lucy Wilson Mysteries novel range:

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Bandril Invasion (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Bandril Invasion
Written by Wink Taylor
Artwork by Steve Beckett

Billy Bandril is the TV sensation sweeping the nation! The hilarious antics of this anarchic puppet have kids and their parents waiting all week for another episode of mayhem.

Fresh from her latest adventure, Lucy Wilson could use some time relaxing in front of the box. But Hobo isn’t too sure... There’s something sinister about Billy and his influence over the viewing public.

When Lucy finds herself live on air with Billy, it’s up to Hobo to interrupt the broadcast, before the curtains close... forever.

The latest in the series is written by Wink Taylor, one of the writers behind children's TV characters Sooty and Basil Brush, and the Theo the Mouse Show tour. The Bandril Invasion draws upon this background with its own maverick children's character, Billy, whose motivations are not all in good fun. Taylor explained:
I spent a lot of happy years writing for children's television and theatre, the bond that kids form with the characters is one of the most rewarding aspects. I was always determined to honour that bond, and make certain that the magic was never broken. It was a privilege to write for such household names and it always fascinated me that the puppeteers at all times remained firmly hidden. This got me thinking: what if the motivations behind this were not benign and were in fact ... thoroughly evil!!

The cover is by regular artist to the ranger, The Beano's Steve Beckett:
This bold, bright cover was a blast to do. Developing a Doctor Who monster, a Bandril, into children’s TV’s hottest new star was great fun. It still has a slight air of menace about it though – poor Hobo!

The Bandrils made their first appearance in the sixth Doctor adventure Timelash; range editor Shaun Russell, said:
Timelash is probably one of the most Marmite Doctor Who stories ever made, either you love or hate it! In my opinion it does have some of best and worst monsters ever featured in the series. The Borad, for example, is wonderful. Others are not so good. The Bandrils, however, are quite puppet-like, and this was my inspiration for this Lucy Wilson story. And that’s when we thought of Wink Taylor. His television and theatre background really helped in creating this slightly oddball Bandril story, which draws upon Doctor Who’s past in many exciting ways.

At the crossroads of old Who and new, with the heart of Jacqueline Wilson, the comedy of David Walliams and drawing on the creativity behind some of children's entertainment's most enduring hits, there's something for readers of all ages in the book.

The Bandril Invasion is available to pre-order exclusively from the Candy Jar and Lethbridge-Stewart websites.




Lethbridge-Stewart: Travers and WellsBookmark and Share

Saturday, 27 April 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced the paperback release of the novella Travers and Wells as it launches a new spin-off series of books featuring the characters Professor Edward Travers and HG Wells on their travels across parallel worlds en route to the alien world of Karfel - where the Dominator fleet is about to attack!

Lethbridge-Stewart: Travers and Wells: Other Wars, Other Worlds (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Travers and Wells: Other Wars, Other Worlds
Written by Robert Mammone

"For a time I believed that mankind had been swept out of existence, and that I stood there with my friend, Edward Travers, the last men left alive."

Edward Travers, pulled out of time by a mysterious force, finds himself on a hill with a young man called Herbert George Wells. Together the men travel across England, intent on discovering where they are; a world distinctly different from the one they know. And yet, for Edward Travers, it is one that seems vaguely familiar...

For strange, meteor-like objects have landed in the heart of England, and the inhabitants of Earth have found themselves victims of a terrible attack. A ruthless race of Martians, armed with heat rays and poisonous smoke, is intent on destroying everything that stands in its way.

Only things have not turned out the way Travers' expected, for this is not the war of the worlds HG Wells wrote about, but something much worse.

Originally released in 2017, the backdoor pilot to this series has been retitled Other Wars, Other Worlds. Talking about the reception of his book, author Robert Mammone said:
I am gobsmacked by the overwhelmingly positive reception. You hope that when the results of all that hard work venture into the world readers are at least kind to it, but the lovely reviews on the internet, and the personal comments I've received left me feeling giddy. When I heard the hardback had sold out so quickly I looked forward to the day when more people could pick up the paperback, and that day is almost here! Here's to more readers enjoying the adventures of Travers and Wells!

Range Editor, Andy Frankham-Allen explained how the new series developed:
The potential of the series was always to be determined by sales and critical response, which, we are glad to say, have both proven to be sufficiently positive. The series itself, and the adventures contained therein, are based on the works of Wells, following the example set by the Doctor Who serial Timelash by Glen McCoy, which saw a younger Wells encounter several people and situations that inspired some of his best known works. Every book in this range will be a play on a story written by Wells, and not always the most obvious ones. Although, naturally, the first two novels pull from two of Wells’ biggest hits, The War of the Worlds and The Island of Dr Moreau.

As indicated above, the second book in the series will be called The City of Dr Moreau, written by Andrew Allen:
"Wells blinked a couple of times, balling a fist into his eyes to rub away the sweat trickling there. But it was no good; the room was too dark and he still couldn’t see anything. Nonetheless, he was painfully aware that someone – something – was in the room with him. He heard a snuffling, a guttural breathing, and the thing moved closer."

Edward Travers and HG Wells are flung once again into an alternative reality: a London both achingly familiar and quite unlike the city either of them know. In the dying days of the Edwardian empire, public protests over the increasing use of vivisection in animal research collide with rising fears about looming war.

Connecting both is the mysterious Dr Moreau. Wells is fascinated by the accomplished scientist, but Travers is horrified by the dark truth of the man that he previously had believed to be mere fiction.

As the two men begin to discover the purpose behind their adventures out of time and come face to face with who is controlling their journey, they pursue Moreau to the inevitable conclusion: his very own island of creation, a perverse garden of Eden that’s very close to home...

The paperback edition of Other Wars, Other Worlds is available to pre-order from the Candy Jar website, as is a limited edition hardback edition of The City of Dr Moreau; the latter can also be pre-ordered in paperback for a limited time ony as part of an exclusive bundle with the first book.





Black ArchiveBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 23 April 2019 - Reported by Marcus
The latest editions from Obverse Books Black Archive looks at two very different stories from the First and Fourth Doctor

Black Archive: Warrior's Gate (Credit: Obverse Books)Black Archive #30: The Dalek Invasion of Earth

Released 2 April 2019

Survivors of London, the Daleks are the masters of Earth. Surrender now and you will live.

The story of the Daleks’ return to Doctor Who in The Dalek Invasion of Earth (1964) has been told in multiple media, but for this Black Archive, Jonathan Morris has had unparalleled access to the many variants of the scripts.

After 55 years, learn the identity of ‘The Waking Ally’, discover Milton Subotsky’s working draft of the second feature film, and find out why the iconic shot of the Daleks crossing Westminster Bridge doesn’t appear in the televised story… Author Jonathan Morris is one of the most prolific and long-standing contributors to Doctor Who Magazine, as well as writing five novels for BBC Books and over fifty stories for Big Finish.

RRP: £7.99 (£5.99 direct from Obverse)

Black Archive: The Dalek Invasion of Earth (Credit: Obverse Books)Black Archive #31: Warriors Gate

Released 2 May 2019

The shadow of my past and of your future.

Representative of Doctor Who at its most experimental, narratively and visually, Warriors’ Gate (1981) was the rich by-product of a producer seeking to modernise the series for the 1980s, a radio writer and novelist who had never written for television, and a film director with one television drama to his credit.

Examining television authorship in the 1980s, and using archive research and new interviews, this Black Archive traces the development of writer Stephen Gallagher’s scripts and their onscreen realisation by producer John Nathan-Turner, script editor Christopher Bidmead, and director Paul Joyce.

Similarly, it explores the story’s complex blend of absurd tragicomedy, quantum theory, randomness and entropy, within the context of British New Wave SF, the philosophy of science, modernist theatre, film and television, German Romantic painting, pop video, and the development of electronic video effects. Many ‘authors’ contributed to the transmitted version of Warriors’ Gate and the book also considers whether it can be claimed as the work of a single author given the collaborative nature of its troubled production.

RRP: £7.99 (£5.99 direct from Obverse)




Doctor Who: The Runaway - trailer releasedBookmark and Share

Monday, 15 April 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC Digital have released a trailer for their forthcoming virtual reality film, Doctor Who: The Runaway:


You’ve been in a collision. You wake inside the TARDIS. The Doctor introduces you to the person, or thing, you collided with. He’s a strange and magnificent ball of living energy called Volta. Part surly teenager, part bomb, Volta is very unstable. In fact, he’s primed to explode. Big time. Unless he can be returned to his home planet, sharpish. The problem is, a squad of galactic busybodies has other plans for Volta. Bad ones. Drawn into a frantic chase, you become the Doctor’s unlikely assistant as she races against time to get Volta home to his parents. Armed with a sonic screwdriver, it is down to you to help the Doctor as she faces the forces of evil, and teenage angst, in this animated 13-minute VR adventure from the team behind Doctor Who Series 11.

Doctor Who: The Runaway (Credit: BBC Digital) Doctor Who: The Runaway (Credit: BBC Digital) Doctor Who: The Runaway (Credit: BBC Digital) Doctor Who: The Runaway (Credit: BBC Digital)

The film will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival next week, and will be coming to UK audiences in the near future.





Lethbridge-Stewart: Pirates of the Prime MeridianBookmark and Share

Saturday, 13 April 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced its latest free-for-download short story in its Lethbridge-Stewart series:

Lethbridge-Stewart: Pirates of the Prime Meridian (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Pirates of the Prime Meridian
Written by Roy Martin

When Spencer is on holiday with his dad in Peacehaven, he is surprised to see that the town is bursting with pirates. Most are typical tourist-friendly types, but several seem slightly more sinister. He tries to tell his dad, but is not believed. It is only when he meets Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart that he discovers that Peacehaven and the pirates have been connected throughout time.

Based on characters created by Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln.

Roy Martin, author of the novel NV-66, wrote this story especially for Candy Jar. He said:

As I was part of the Doctor Who audience growing up in the ’70s, it was great to have the opportunity to write a short story featuring a fantastic character such as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. For me it was exciting to adapt my writing style to integrate with a pre-existing universe.

I chose to include pirates in the adventure, because for me, they represent enigmatic and shadowy characters from the murky past of history, epitomising working class entrepreneurs; forging fortunes in life, by their own sweat and guile, not afraid to operate outside of the establishment. Plus, when writing I like to get into character, and who doesn’t like dressing as a pirate for the day?

A word of warning for the unwary, ill prepared traveller of adventures. Never upset a pirate. A scallywag will find themselves dancing the hempen jig soon enough.

Pirates of the Prime Meridian can be downloaded from the Candy Jar website.




Big Finish - Fifth Doctor meets CiceroBookmark and Share

Friday, 5 April 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Samuel Barnett, Peter Davison (Credit: Big Finish)Peter Davison’s Fifth Doctor meets Samuel Barnett’s Cicero this September in a Doctor Who audio drama from Big Finish Productions as the Doctor, Tegan and Nyssa travel back to ancient Naples and the town of Cumae by the base of Mount Vesuvius.

The Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) resumes his travels in space and time this September with companions Tegan (Janet Fielding) and Nyssa (Sarah Sutton). But instead of exploring the far reaches of space he’s taking a little trip back in time to meet an icon of classical philosophy.

Cicero was a Roman politician, lawyer and orator living in a time when the Roman Empire was in a turbulent position due to the rise of Caeser. Cicero’s impact on Latin languages is immeasurable, which makes him a worthy candidate to meet the hero of space and time, the Doctor!

Samuel Barnett, the star of Cicero – a Big Finish Originals range – reprises his role to join the world of Doctor Who in Tartarus by David Llewellyn.

Peter Davison, who first played the Doctor on television in 1981, told us more about recording this new audio story
I love an adventure where we interfere with history, especially when we completely destroy the reputation of a historical character! My Doctor travelled to The Great Fire of London, then the destruction of the dinosaurs… everything in history is handed down to us.

I think all our heroes of history would be disappointments if we actually met them! Plus, I was ‘fanboying’ over Dirk Gently which Samuel starred in.
Samuel Barnett also told us more about bringing his portrayal of the classic orator to the world of science fiction
There is a precedent in Doctor Who of the Doctor visiting real life occasions, locations and people that are familiar to us in history. The Doctor meeting Cicero lets us see Cicero’s skills as an orator that will hopefully help to save the day… Peter Davison’s portrayal of the Doctor was my Doctor on television when I was growing up, so I’m absolutely thrilled.
October’s release of The Monthly Adventures is Interstitital / Feast of Fear by Carl Rowens / Martyn Waites and in November, Warzone / Conversion by Chris Chapman / Guy Adams.

All three Fifth Doctor adventures can be pre-ordered ahead of their release in September, October and November 2019 at £14.99 on CD or £12.99 on download. All CD purchases unlock a download option via the Big Finish app and the Big Finish website.




Lethbridge-Stewart: The Brigadier and Lucy Wilson unitedBookmark and Share

Thursday, 28 March 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books has announced the fifth book in The Laughing Gnome series, which sees the worlds of Lethbridge-Stewart and The Lucy Wilson Mysteries collide:

The Laughing Gnome: Lucy Wilson & The Bledoe Cadets (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Laughing Gnome: Lucy Wilson & The Bledoe Cadets
Written by Tim Gambrell
Cover by Steve Beckett

Sir Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart is still lost in time, cast through his own time stream by the mysterious Gnome.

Answers are presented to him when he meets the architect of his travels, and is told he has one adventure ahead of him. A chance to make sure his legacy is secure. He will be sent to 2018, and a meeting with his granddaughter, the protector of Ogmore-by-Sea, Lucy Wilson.

In 1937, young Ali Lethbridge-Stewart and his brother James find themselves face to face with smugglers, while in 2018 Lucy and Hobo are preparing for a trip to Cornwall.

What connects 1937 and 2018? The Brigadier and Lucy Wilson are about to find out, when they are cast back in time and join the Bledoe Cadets in solving the mystery at Redgate Smithy. The price will be high for at least one of the Cadets. But for the Brigadier and Lucy, it is a chance to understand what truly binds them together, what it is to be a Lethbridge-Stewart!

Following on from The Laughing Gnome: Rise of the Dominator, books five and six sees the Brigadier team-up with his granddaughter, Lucy Wilson, in an adventure through time! The two-book special, Lucy Wilson & The Bledoe Cadets and The Brigadier & The Bledoe Cadets, finally solves a mystery that has been two years in the making, since 2017 and the novels Night of the Intelligence and Avatars of the Intelligence (the very first Lucy Wilson Mystery - how did Lucy and Hobo end up in 1937 to have a picture taken with young Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart and his brother James?

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen set the scene:
Ever since The Lucy Wilson Mysteries was devised, Shaun (Russell) and I had in a mind an adventure that would see Lucy team up with the Bledoe Cadets. We knew there was much fun to be had in having a mixed-race teenage girl interacting with children from 1937. We sowed the seeds in the very first novel in The Lucy Wilson Mysteries range by having her see a photograph of herself and her grandfather as a child, this was built upon in my own novel, Night of the Intelligence, in which it is revealed that James has memories of Lucy and Hobo. So, it’s been a lot of fun exploring those plot points and finally revealing the truth behind them.

The author for that exciting story is first-time novelist Tim Gambrell, who originally won a competition to have a character named after him, and later wrote a short story for The HAVOC Files 3: that story, The Bledoe Cadets and the Bald Man of Pengriffen, led him to being considered for Lucy Wilson & The Bledoe Cadets:
After my short story was published, I pitched another story idea which Andy asked me to develop into a novel proposal. I very much felt, from that point on, that Andy was keeping me on his reserve bench, waiting for the right position to ‘play’ me in. The creative process has been pretty fluid ever since the first writers’ meeting in Cardiff, with a strong sense of collaboration and mutual support between Andy and all of the writers. That’s certainly been appreciated by me, with this being my first published novel. Each of our slots came with a character to focus on, but otherwise we were pretty free to tell the sort of story we wanted to tell. However, my slot came with a shopping list. I was given the title, Lucy Wilson & The Bledoe Cadets, so I knew from the start it would be a cross-franchise book. Some of the book needed to take place in 2018 to mark the 50th anniversary of Lethbridge-Stewart. Added to that, the story would have to feature time travel so that Lucy, Hobo and the Bledoe Cadets could meet. And it couldn’t contradict anything already established regarding the Bledoe Cadets and alien encounters. Finally, it had to be set before the events of 1938 in The Forgotten Son, so that Sir Alistair could spend time with his brother James. That might sound like a whole lot of limitations, but I found it really liberating. It focuses the mind, being given restrictions like that.

Andy continued:
From the moment I first read that short story, I knew Tim would get it right. He has a great handle on the Bledoe Cadets, who I created for my novel, The Forgotten Son, and I’m rather protective of them. But Tim ‘got’ them. Of course, the only risk was trusting a first-time novelist with this story. I’m happy to say, it’s a risk that paid off!

Head of Publishing Shaun Russell said:
Once the story was decided, Andy and I bounced back and forth the idea of having the story told from both the Brigadier’s point of view, and Lucy’s. Telling the adventure for the more mature readers in the Lethbridge-Stewart range, and then retelling it for a younger reader as part of The Lucy Wilson Mysteries. We had hoped to release both books simultaneously, but the logistics didn’t make that feasible, especially as, for Tim, it would essentially mean writing two novels at the same time! So, it was decided that Tim would write the Lethbridge-Stewart version first, and then we would sit down to discuss how to approach The Lucy Wilson Mysteries version. Lucy’s own perspective brings with it some unique things, not least a different opening before the Brigadier turns up. Although it’s essentially the same story, both books can be read independently, however reading both version will provide a more fuller take on the story.

The Laughing Gnome: Lucy Wilson & The Bledoe Cadets will be released in late April, with The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Brigadier & The Bledoe Cadets due out in the summer. Both books are now available for pre-order from the Candy Jar website.

The Laughing Gnome series will conclude in May with book six, On His Majesty’s National Service, by David A McIntee.



Candy Jar Books are also involved in an inspiring book event at The Comic Guru (which has recently relocated to St David's Arcade, Cardiff). The comic shop is celebrating the role of women in film, TV and comics on Saturday 30th March between 11:00am and 4:30pm.

STRONG FEMALE VOICES AT THE COMIC GURU: MEET THE AUTHORS!

As we approach the end of this turbulent decade strong female characters have begun to take centre stage across all film, comics and TV drama, most especially sci-fi. Both DC and Marvel have had enormous successes with Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel respectively.

One such organisation to embrace this change is the Comic Guru, now located in the Queen Street arcade. And to celebrate this, the Comic Guru is partnering with another staple of Cardiff’s sci-fi scene, award-winning independent publisher Candy Jar Books.

To coincide with the recent release of Captain Marvel, the first woman-led instalment in Marvel’s cinematic universe, the Comic Guru is hosting its first collaborative event with Candy Jar, an author meet and greet showcasing just a few of Candy Jar’s strong female authors. Fans will get a chance to meet Alyson Leeds, an author from the Doctor Who spin-off Lethbridge-Stewart series, as well as children’s sci-fi authors Cherry Cobb and Michelle Briscombe.

Owner of the Comic Guru, Kristian Barry, says: “Both the DC and Marvel comic and film franchises have been at the catalyst of change. They have always embraced diversity and championed equal rights. Captain Marvel shows that women can be superheroes too. At the Comic Guru we want to celebrate this, and with Mother’s Day coming up we thought it was an ideal opportunity.”

Candy Jar’s range of titles spans everything from children’s fiction to war memoirs. It is perhaps best known, however, for its Lethbridge-Stewart series, a fully licensed collection of novels about the adventures of the classic Doctor Who character Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. As one of the only non-BBC official Doctor Who products out there, the series has attracted an international readership, and it is currently in its sixth series.

Alyson Leeds, whose debut novel entitled Fear of the Web is based on old Doctor Who story, The Web of Fear, states: “The one thing I always disliked about The Web of Fear was how male dominated the storyline was, and being a part of the Lethbridge-Stewart series has given me a chance to make sure the females are given their platform to speak.”

Michelle Briscombe’s novel, The House on March Lane, contains two brave female protagonists, one from the modern day and the other from the Victorian era. Both characters are free thinkers and despite being separated by one hundred years they become unlikely friends.

Cherry Cobb, author of Will’s War, a book about a boy who time travels back to World War Two London, focuses mainly on male characters. Cherry says: ”My dad was eleven when he was evacuated from Plymouth. He often used to tell me stories about how they lived and I think this is why it felt more natural to me to write about the experience of a boy. Although Will’s War has a lot of male characters, I did not aim it at boys, but as something to be enjoyed by everyone.”

Shaun Russell continues: “We’re proud of the stand sci-fi has been taking recently. We’ve tried to make our statement with our authors, as well as our Lethbridge-Stewart spinoff, The Lucy Wilson Mysteries. Sci-fi is for everyone, boys and girls, and this event has something for the whole family. Not to mention, as it takes place the day before Mother’s Day, it might be just be the perfect opportunity to pick up a last minute gift.”

Publishing Co-ordinator, Keren Williams, elaborates: “Alongside author meet and greets, there will be a chance to get your hands on some free books, and if you are interested in becoming an author yourself, Candy Jar’s team will be available to chat throughout the day.”

And just for balance, Terry Cooper, author of the sci-fi comedy Kangazang! Small Cosmos, and director of the Welsh independent film, Offworld, will also be signing at the Comic Guru. He says: “I have two daughters myself and do recognise the importance of strong role models for girls. Despite my book being a laddish adventure story, it is the female character that ultimately saves the day. Equally in Offworld it is the female spaceship Captain that takes centre stage in my story.”

Kristian Barry continues: “I’m really looking forward to welcoming this group of talented authors into my shop, it is sure to be a stupendous start to many more Comic Guru events.”